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Bummer: PS5 Entering 'The Latter Stage Of Its Life Cycle,' Sony Says

Feels kinda early to be calling time on the newest PlayStation console, yet here we are

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Sony execs have said the PlayStation 5 will enter the "latter phase" of its lifecycle in 2024.
Image: Olly Curtis/Future Publishing (Getty Images)

Sony announced its third-quarter earnings on February 14, and they weren’t exactly full of glad tidings for PlayStation fans. For starters, the company revealed it doesn’t plan to release any new titles in its major franchises for the remainder of 2024. Sony execs also said that its current-gen hardware, the PlayStation 5, is nearing the end of its life cycle.

According to Bloomberg’s coverage of the call, the company predicts PS5 sales will slow in the next fiscal year (that means from April 2024 until March 2025). “Looking ahead, PS5 will enter the latter stage of its life cycle,” Sony SVP Naomi Matsuoka said. “As such, we will put more emphasis on the balance between profitability and sales. For this reason, we expect the annual sales pace of PS5 hardware will start falling from the next fiscal year.”


The PlayStation 5 launched in November 2020, but was unusually difficult to obtain for nearly two years after launch, owing to global supply chain shortages. During this time, on the rare occasions that PS5s were available from online retailers like Amazon or Best Buy, they would be quickly scooped up by resellers and sold on the secondary market at a hefty markup. The consoles became far easier for most folks to get hold of in 2023 though, with PlayStation prez Jim Ryan announcing at CES that “everyone who wants a PS5 should have a much easier time finding one at retailers globally, starting from this point forward.” On the earnings call, Sony execs confirmed that 54.7 million PS5s have sold since launch. (That’s a lot, but it’s still considerably outpaced by the 139 million Switches sold by Nintendo since 2017.)

Typically, consoles have a shelf-life of roughly seven years, though the continued popularity of the Nintendo Switch has proven that convention isn’t exactly iron-clad. So the fact that Sony’s thinking about next-gen already wouldn’t be surprising in normal circumstances. But it’s fair to say the last few years have been anything but “normal circumstances.” With PS5 consoles only becoming widely available at MSRP in the last year or so, it kind of feels like the current generation of games only just got started in earnest in 2023. Combined with the lack of first-party, tentpole releases in the coming year, this is pretty discouraging.


Sony’s latest announcement comes at a particularly charged moment in gaming. January saw a deluge of layoffs throughout the industry. February kicked off a spate of rumors that Xbox plans to port its games for rival Sony and Nintendo platforms (or maybe even stop making hardware entirely) amid slower-than-expected Game Pass growth. (We’ll find out more on that topic when Xbox drops its grim-sounding “business update” podcast on February 15.) Here’s hoping Nintendo comes through with that Switch 2 reveal sooner than later.